National Preparedness Month Series: Keeping Your Pantry Full

in steemitbloggers •  2 months ago


Continued National Preparedness Month series...



Restocking and replenishing your pantry for the future is as easy as 1-2-3, or $5 extra a week in your grocery/food budget.

I do it all the time and it keeps my pantry well-stocked short term and hopefully for long term.

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My maternal grandma, who grew up as a young lady, then married my grandpa during the Great Depression knew how to preserve and extend her garden's harvest.

She would can tomatoes as if there was no tomorrow. She knew how to properly store her harvested potatoes and onions in the root cellar to make them last until well after the New Year celebrations. She could take melon and watermelon rind and can them to perfection. She had every tool needed to can and would spend endless weekend hours in the heat of her kitchen making sure her family had enough to eat throughout the next twelve months.

She was also VERY creative when it came to using up what was in her pantry to save money. I can remember her having a few meals towards the end of the month that she referred to as the Mish-Mash. This was kind of like taking the leftovers in the icebox (yeah she still had an icebox in her house's breezeway where she stored extra foods even back in the 1970's), canned goods from the pantry shelves (which was the back of the breezeway leading to her garage) and creating a new recipe. Chances were pretty good you would never have the same recipe or dinner a second time, but regardless, whenever she had her Mish-Mash dinner it was a delight. I swear the woman was a food magician

IMAGE- My grandma, my mom and my son back in 1986



By doing all these chores and being creative, she taught me the value of keeping your pantry full. My grandfather passed away when I was only about two years old and my aunt and uncle were still in high school, so grandma was a widow who had no choice but to make ends meets. She took all the tricks her mother and grandmothers taught her and she became the kitchen preserving woman that I remember from my childhood.

When I would go grocery shopping with her once a month- that was all she did when I was younger, she would always buy two of everything. I never understood why and when I was about ten years old, I finally asked her. She explained even though she only used one can of Lima beans for a dinner every month, what would happen next month if she lost her overtime at the Uniroyal tire plant. She wouldn't be able to have Lima beans in a meal next month. but by buying them this month when she could afford the extra money, she knew it would be there next month. She told me "I have to be ready..." Those words dinged in my head and I have lived by them most of my adult life.

"Always Be Ready..."

Taking those words seriously, I am always planning for a downfall, a loss of income and the what-if's in life. So to prepare and keep my pantry always ready, I will take a few dollars every week when I go shopping and purchase a few extra can of vegetables, soups, packets of seasoning, cooking oil or whatever is on sale that week. Being able to have three containers of cooking oil may not seem like a BIG thing, but if Mr Golden D were to lose his job one day, I know I will have enough cooking oil to prepare meals for a couple of months; which in return will save me money for more important things.


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My mother used to make all her own stuff and fill the shelves with it. My favourite was ice cream with berry jam

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Same here- I can't recall too many store bought cans of food in our house while growing up. My grandma always made so much she would give away a lot.

I make ice cream on rare occasions; I need to find an organic milk farmer around here who would sell me some cream first

I remember my mom only making jellies, but grandma and great grandma were big on food preserving. They loved their gardens and it showed when great grandma would stand proudly with a six foot tall jumbo pink banana squash. It wouldn't go to waste that's for sure. When I married my hubbie and we moved to the country after I finished college... he told me about all these wonderful goodies his mother canned when they grew up on their farm. Being a lover of recipes, I researched and collected the necessary canning equipment to start my water bath canning. It seems like such a long time ago, but we have so much food now I know I can trust to be healthier than what is in the store and I know I won't run out any time soon. That feeling of knowing you can feed your family for the next month or so on what you've preserved is a wonderful feeling.

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OMGosh!!! You said it all!

Yes it brings a certain smile to my face (and heart) when I make pasta for dinner and hubby is smacking his lips and murmuring how good the sauce is. Definitely worth all the time, effort and long hours in the kitchen.

Nice information good

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We have been trying to can like crazy. I have several posts I still haven't gotten around to making because this is the busy time of year, but an enjoyable one. Eating homegrown and raised jellies just makes it all worth it! Haha!

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Oh I know... as soon as the harvest starts coming in... I am in a rush to dehydrate, can and preserve it all. it's a never-ending cycle

Hiii..

Great Post with Great Information.
My 100 % upvote for this post.

My grandmother was the same way! I think the depression taught everyone a serious life lesson. I loved spending time with her and learned all of the canning, preservation and cooking I use today. The neat thing is my daughter is a homesteader and cans and preserves as well. Now living in hurricane territory, preparation is a yearly necessity :)

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Oh yes! Life lessons indeed!
I love being able to provide for the home. It makes me feel so accomplished.

Yes... living in hurricane territory you definitely need to be prepared for EVERYTHING

My granny was exactly the same, good to be ready for the lean days @goldendawne plus not waste by bottling/ freezing!

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Too bad this way of thinking has gone wayside over the last few decades.
People are more of the instant gratification now

I'm not as good with my pantry as I ought to be. I have been at different times and places in my life, and I am still a 'value shopper'. If one of my staples is on a really serious sale, I'll stock up. Big stock up.

There was a time in my life when I had two freezers. One for meat and one for the rest. I'd blanche and freeze sweet corn and carrots. I had a great cellar and could make potatoes last way into the spring.

When I couldn't eat them anymore, the pigs could :) Yep. Raised my own beef and pork and chickens. At the time, I was doing it because of the taste and purity.

My grandparents raised 6 children through the depression. The last two came after the war. Grandpa ended up hauling hod on Grand Coulee Dam for a dollar a day. He told me there was a bar near their barracks where he could get two beers for 10 cents. That also allowed him to cruise the 'sandwich bar'. He'd build two monster sandwiches. Eat one and save one. He'd sell the second beer for 5 cents. That's what he paid to eat. Grandma got 95 cents every day. 6 days a week.

His parents were also out of work so they gardened and canned. They had around an acre of green beans every year that they sold and ate. Lived on the same property that my Grandfather had bought before the depression. They always talked about how hard it was, but also how much fun....

These are such great habits to get into. We keep saying we need to better prepare for our future and for when crisis hits us. With a family of 7 we can’t afford not to. I’m bookmarking this video to watch this weekend. I really have been wanting to learn how to can more then anything!

Thanks for sharing this info! 😉

Having a well-stocked pantry has saved my bacon so many times over the years. And now it has been a godsend. Without my pantry and my garden, I would not be able to feed as many folks as I have over the past almost 5 months. I am glad I learned very young how to be a prepper...